Having a clear ethos and culture is important for a department.
What does maths look like here?
We are an improving department. Everyone can learn maths given the right amount of time, support and effort. Our new five year scheme of work, starting with year 7 and building on the skills learned in primary school, allows pupils to spend more time on less topics earlier in their journey to better master the content. This ensures that students are taught the objectives outlined in the National Curriculum in year 7 to 9. Students are taught for four 1 hour lessons per week in all year groups. Students are shared into 2 populations, with 4 to 5 groups, set by attainment in each population.
We are aiming to develop students’ mathematical fluency reasoning and problem solving with facts, concepts and procedures as well as support them to use mathematical vocabulary. This will enable them to make links between ideas within maths and across subjects.
We know that spaced practice is important so every lesson begins with an “entry task” on prior learning to support memory recall and each unit is punctuated with 2 weekly home learning practise tasks via our online platforms. We are proud to have recently been part of a best practice case study for secondary schools with Timestable Rockstars and were part as well as being a Hegarty maths “Super School” for our use of the platforms in the last academic year.
Our aim is to support students by modelling and explaining, at times using special equipment, the mathematics they need to learn. We challenge them through our chosen tasks and “challenge questions” to make students think hard over time as well as develop reasoning and problem solving. We want to develop confident and resilient mathematicians.
Through our motto “Maths Opens Doors” we promote and deliver a variety of information on futures, enrichment and educational pathways that a qualification in maths can lead to, including the realistic option of University. We also aim to educate the children of Blackpool to become financially aware and inform them about important concepts such as debt, credit, tax, safety and wellbeing. Through our new guided reading programme, students in year 7 and 8 are beginning to learn about the history of maths and other interesting articles, including famous mathematicians.
More information can be found at www.montgomerymaths.co.uk/maths-opens-doors.
There are different ways by which and reasons why students are assessed in maths
Each unit now begins with a prerequisite quiz to assess what students already know in terms of the foundations of the topic. Every students has ABCD cards to answer multiple choice questions live in class so the teacher can get feedback and respond to it in real time. There are regular low stakes quizzes to gain insights into strengths and weaknesses. Blocks of work are punctuated by end of block assessments. These are followed up by Learning Improvement Feedback Time or “LIFT” lesson—a lesson dedicated to giving feedback to the students as a class, making improvements, talking about misconceptions and providing extra practice where needed. This goes some way to our efforts to leave no child behind.
Students in year 11 are assessed in Autumn Term 2 for finals 1 before completing their GCSE in May and June with Edexcel—three 90 minute papers covering a large sample of the curriculum. Paper 1 is non-calculator and paper 2 and 3 are calculator papers.
There are regular GCSE classes after school and our department have catch up sessions for home learning for students who do not complete it on time or don’t have access to technology at home.
Students and parents often need support along the school journey with maths. What do we offer?
Through our website www.montgomerymaths.co.uk, students and parents can gain access to support with learning maths, including resources and curriculum links for remote learning. There is information around how to revise maths and how you can check students’ homework has been completed.
Every student is given a Hegarty maths login, a website linked to quizzes for students to get extra practice at home, with that important scaffolded support.
Students in key stage 3 also have a login for www.ttrockstars.com —a website that allows them to be come fluent in their multiplication and division facts.
Students in key stage 4 are provided with revision guides and revision cards. We are now developing a key stage 3 knowledge organiser booklet to support students in lower year groups and will be releasing this soon.
We want our parents to work with us to help students to see maths as a valuable, accessible subject for all students.